Materials Handling Online -- SEPTEMBER 29, 2000
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PORTLAND, USA -- Cascade Corporation, a leading international forklift attachments manufacturer, has entered preliminary sale negotiations with three companies.

Lift Technologies Inc, TD Capital Group Ltd, and the Ontario Municipal Employees' Retirement Board have rights, until September 29, to conduct due diligence on Cascade and finalise sale negotiations.

Lift Techonologies, a manufacturer of lift truck masts, was founded by former Kenhar Corporation president Bill Harrison, who is also a former Cascade director. The company bought Cascade's mast business in January.

TD Capital Group is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Toronto Dominion Bank.

James S Osterman, chairman of Cascade's special committee handling the sale, said any final agreement would be subject to the board of directors approving the sale.

Cascade president and CEO Robert Warren announced in March that he and the special management group were exploring the possibility of a management-led buyout.

Mr Osterman said there was no assurance a definitive agreement would be reached, or that any sale would be completed.

He said the selection of the Lift group was the result of its previous dealings, and Lift had already completed its review of Cascade.

"If it is successful in completing a transaction, the Lift group expects minimal disruption to the Cascade workforce, and wants to further develop Cascade's leadership in its industry," a statement said.

The terms of the proposed transaction were not disclosed, and Mr Osterman said no further announcements were planned before a final agreement was signed.



LOS ANGELES, USA -- Citing increasingly stringent air quality regulations, Marine Terminals Corp (MTC) has put five liquid petroleum gas (LPG), or propane, yard hustlers into service at the Evergreen America Corp container terminal at Port of Los Angeles.

The low-emission yard hustlers, capable of moving 25 tons (55,000 pounds) of cargo around the terminal and to or from nearby rail yards, are an unusual application of off-road, alternative fuel technology.

MTC is the first company in California to purchase clean fuel technology through the state's Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment Program, a program providing financial incentives for heavy equipment owners to reduce emissions.

The fund pays for the additional cost of an alternative-fuel engine compared to a traditional diesel engine, which in MTC's case, was an extra US$11,000 for each yard hustler. In total, each yard hustler cost US$70,000, including assistance from the Moyer fund.

With between 1500 and 2400 containers moved each day, the benefits of using LPG are considered a giant step for the industry in moving cargo in an environmentally friendly way.

MTC operations vice president Captain John McNeill said the company was always exploring new ways of staying at the forefront of technology on the waterfront.

"We are committed to investigating and trying new methods of creating a better environment while increasing productivity," he said.

California Air Resources Board executive officer Michael Kenny applauded MTC for its decision to use LPG for its new hustlers.

"The ... Moyer program was designed specifically to help businesses convert to cleaner-operating equipment and away from vehicles that burn high-polluting, toxic diesel fuel," he said.

Some advantages over diesel that LPG enjoys include its reduced emissions, its relative cost advantage, its higher density, increasing kilometres per litre, and engine preservation, due to its low use of carbon and oil contaminants.



MELBOURNE, Australia -- Detection of forklifts and other moving plant is a major health and safety issue in warehouses and factories around the world.

But an Australian technology company is leading the way in infra-red detection devices.

Victorian-based Amskan Ltd, a systems integrator specialising in radio frequency data capture, has developed a system in which moving plant triggers remote alarms and warning systems to alert pedestrians to its impending presence.

Fork-Alert has an onboard, invisible, infra-red beacon(r)MD+IT(r)MD-IT, which emits a coded beam, one or more infra-red receivers, a zone controller and a warning system.

Amskan managing director Fred Clerk said Fork-Alert was used in some of Australia's largest forklift-using operations. Mr Clerk said he was also seeking international markets.

"We developed the technology late last year, and made it available to the market at the beginning of 2000," Mr Clerk said.

He said Fork-Alert supplemented normal driver warnings, such as the reverse gear tone, and would be "extremely good" for noisy operations where forklift warnings were difficult to hear.

Adaptable to indoor and outdoor applications, Fork-Alert read distances were configurable, allowing operators to vary warning times.

Mr Clerk said the system could be set up to trigger alarms, flashing lights, and to open locked doors.



HONOLULU, USA -- Hawaii Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are asking for public assistance after thieves rammed the front of a Honolulu convenience store with a forklift.

Thieves used a forklift to remove an ATM, dragging it out of the Kalaeloa (Barbers Point) Naval Exchange Mini-Mart and stealing its cash, the Honolulu Star reported.

The thieves fled with about US$50,000 before security arrived.



PORT OF RADES, Africa -- CVS Ferrari has signalled the consolidation of its presence in the African market by delivering two model 279.6 reach stackers to Tunisia, North Africa.

The two reach stackers are equipped with piggyback attachments, allowing them to handle the port's weekly shipment of Italian swapbodies.

The piggyback attachment allows the machine to easily pass from container handling to swapbody and semitrailer handling without spreader adjustments.

"It is a significant event," a company statement said.

CVS Ferrari has also received orders for 27 reach stackers and loaders in Asia. They include a US Army contract in Korea, and the sale of nine ECH units to Chittagong Port, Bangladesh.

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